Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Breaking the term limit," Sept. 16, 2000

The stench of death

I noted your descriptions of positive press reaction to Joe Lieberman's Orthodox Judaism, in contrast to their denunciation of George W. Bush's Christianity ("Lieberman vs. Gore," Aug. 19). This is not hard to understand. The liberal left is not bothered by God. He is usually treated like someone pleasant but harmless, certainly nobody to take seriously, and journalists often follow that line. In effect, journalists are not anti-God; they are anti-Christ. The mention of God rarely causes a stir, but the name of Jesus sends them into orbit, for while that name is the sweet smell of salvation to those who know him, it is the stench of death to those who don't. Joe Lieberman's God is a nice human interest story, but the Christ of George W. Bush terrifies them. - Jim Kohlmann, Apopka, Fla.

Empty pockets

On the cover of the Aug. 19 issue you asked about Democratic VP nominee Joe Lieberman, "Will his policy differences with the boss be a problem?" Then Mr. Belz notes that convictions are very important ("Two-way test," Aug. 19). Between the time this issue went to press and I received it on Aug. 17, Sen. Lieberman became a fine team player. I'm not sure that what happened can be tested by Mr. Belz's two criteria: Mr. Lieberman has not baldly denied any connection between his faith and his actions, nor has he had opportunity to try to implement his previous convictions as a vice president. He simply cast those convictions aside. By ignoring earlier positions on school vouchers, for example, and his criticisms of "the subway turnstile at the White House gate," Sen. Lieberman emptied his pockets of moral rectitude. I appreciate Mr. Belz's attempt to provide Sen. Lieberman a fair hearing. It is appalling that the winds of politics blew it away before the ink was dry. - Greg Leaman, Fort Collins, Colo.

Turned on a dime

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The most appalling thing about the Clinton scandal was not the President's Oval Office misdeeds, his abuses of power, his lies, and so on; it was that an entire party, at their moment of truth, abandoned all notions of moral leadership. Connecticut's Senator Joseph Lieberman, banking on his reputation as the "moral compass" of the Senate, led the way. Many Democrats referred to Sen. Lieberman in saying that what the president did was "inexcusable"-and then turned on a cheap dime and excused perjury, lies, perfidy, and the squandering of the moral authority of the United States presidency. So Mr. Lieberman was chosen by Gore to mitigate the sleaze factor. Why not? It worked once before. Mr. Lieberman and I both reside in New Haven, Connecticut. There are many tilted gravestones here, probably because many great Americans gone-by turned in their graves after the deep disgrace was excused and facilitated by a hometown senator. - Joel Mark Solliday, New Haven, Conn.

Thinking of Sudan

Thank you so much for your articles on the plight of the persecuted in Sudan ("The silence is deafening," Aug. 19). I work for an organization that works with persecuted Christians around the world, including Sudan. I have not been to Sudan, but I have talked with those who have, and seen photos of the atrocities being perpetrated upon the Christians there. Thank you to WORLD, Sens. Sam Brownback and Bill Frist, Congressmen Donald Payne, Frank Wolf, Tom Tancredo, J.C. Watts, and others for their efforts to keep the Sudanese plight before the American people. - Bill Cullins, Bartlesville, Okla.

Aesop garbled

Regarding the Barna poll showing the alarming number of Christians who agreed with the statement, "God helps those who help themselves" (Quotables, Aug. 19): Some years ago I hunted for the origin of that saying. As far as I could tell, it is a garbled version of a saying from the story "Hercules and the Wagoner" in Aesop's Fables. One day Hercules, out walking along a road, came upon a cart stuck in a ditch. When the wagon driver saw Hercules he cried out, "Hercules, help me." Hercules replied, "Man, put your own shoulder to the wheel." Aesop's moral was that "the gods help those who help themselves." That story has come down through the centuries in pseudo-Christian form, but Jesus plainly teaches that "without me you can do nothing." - David Poteet, Blacksburg, Va.

No insult

WORLD reports that Lightdog stole editorial space on a General Mills CD with a circulation of 12 million, and then WORLD blames General Mills for apologizing that its editorial control was tampered with ("Nixing Scripture," Aug. 12). By your own account, General Mills didn't say anything against the Bible itself, didn't recall the CD, and didn't even insult the people who deceived them. The company just said it didn't advance religion-fair enough, don't you think, for a food company? - John Mason, Antioch, Tenn.


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